Columbia, SC (WLTX, AP) -- The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce announced a plan to layoff 136 employees Monday.
The reduction in staff will happen in two phases starting this month across the state. The reduction is expected to continue through June 2013.
A news release from the agency says the plan is a move to "align its personnel to better reflect service needs." It says the action comes a result of the end of federal funding for Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs.
"Today's announcement is the result of difficult decisions. We have to align our workforce according to current and future projected funding streams," said DEW Executive Director Abraham J. Turner in a statement. "Like most other states throughout the country, we are affected by a number of economic events including the reduction of federal funding due to the elimination of both the EUC and the EB programs."
The agency says it is working to make the transition as easy as possible for employees and customers.
"As we move forward, I am confident that despite this difficult time, there will be no loss of services offered to fellow citizens and businesses across the state. Our commitment to reemployment efforts, good customer service and small businesses continues to be a high priority for our agency," said Turner.
DEW says it hopes to mange phase two through natural attrition that occurs when employees retire or resign.
South Carolina's jobless rate held fast at 9.6 percent in August, essentially remaining the same as in July. That figure placed state unemployment as the sixth-highest in the nation.
September numbers are scheduled Friday.